What Do Mystery Snails Eat?(In Captivity & The Wild)

What Do Mystery Snails Eat

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It is believed that there can be as many as 150,000 species of snails on earth. 

One of the unique snail types is the mystery snail. They don’t look too different from a regular snail, but they have multiple patterns on their shell. Since colors are the distinguishing factor when it comes to mystery snails, you’ll find yellow, green, purple, and white shell mystery snails (among other colors).

But the real question is, what do mystery snails eat? There is a range of food items, so we have put together a guide to tell you!

Now, without further ado, let’s get right to it.

What Do Mystery Snails Eat In The Wild?

Mystery snails come under the “apple snail” species of gastropods, and they are not picky eaters at all. Snails of this species eat just about anything that is around them, although vegetation is mainly preferred. Moreover, since they are primarily in water, aquatic vegetation is what they feed on, like algae. 

On occasion, they are known to leave the water and look for food on land as well. Even on land, they prefer to feed on plants. However, in a situation where there is no food, they may feed on other snails and snail eggs. 

What Do Mystery Snails Eat In Captivity?

Mystery snails do not behave any differently in captivity as they do in the wild. They will eat anything you put in the tank and aren’t too fussy about it as long as they are fed. Here are some of the foods most mystery snail owners provide their pet snails:

Fish Food

If the snails are in a tank with other fish, then fish food can be fed. It is the ideal food item to give as it will keep the snails from munching on the plants in the tank. Just make sure they are adequately fed; otherwise, plants and other fish might be at risk. 


Vegetables are also suitable for such snails. This is especially the case where the water is low in calcium. Plus, gold mystery snails prefer vegetables over other types of food. This is why vegetables like broccoli, carrots, leaf/romaine/head lettuce, and peas are perfect for these snails. 

Homemade Food Recipes

In addition to fish food and veggies, there are many homemade food recipes that you can try for your pet mystery snail. There are ample mixtures and even snail jello that can be made to provide the snails with appropriate nutrition.

Snail jello is popular as it provides snails with the required amount of calcium. All you need to do is add ingredients like baby food, fish food, and any calcium-heavy vegetable and bind it with gelatin. 

Do Mystery Snails Eat Live Plants? 

If you wonder whether your live plants are in trouble around mystery snails, fret not. Most mystery snails are scavengers; they do not eat any live plants. More often than not, they feed on rotting plants, waste, algae, and sometimes, fish bodies. The only time they turn to fresh plants is when they are starving.

Do Mystery Snails Eat Algae? 

As mentioned above, mystery snails feed on algae in the tanks. If you tend to have algae issues in the tank, getting a mystery snail will be ideal. It will feed on it and keep the tank clean and the water balanced. 

How Often/Much To Feed Mystery Snail?

This aspect of feeding depends entirely on what the snail is being fed. The algae in the tank can act as a source of food. However, providing a balanced diet is necessary, and so you can offer veggies, algae wafers, and even pellets. Since every snail is different, keep adding food bit by bit to ascertain how much it will eat. 

If the food has been fully consumed, keep adding more until the snails do not eat it. Since these snails love to eat, any leftover food means they are full. In that case, it is best to get the food out of the tank.

Speaking of how often they need to be fed, it depends on whether there is anything left in the tank and the size of the snail. If the tank is empty in terms of food, it’s best to feed them every day. 


Do Mystery Snails Eat Fish Poop?

Considering that these snails help in cleaning up the tank, no wonder people think they eat poop. However, that is not the case. They mainly eat veggies, algae, fish waste, and anything the fishes don’t consume. 

How Do I Know If My Mystery Snail Is Getting Enough Food?

Much like with every other being, a mystery snail will stop eating the moment it is complete. If you have added food to the tank and it is still in the tank, it means the snail has eaten enough, and the leftover food can be discarded.

Can Mystery Snails Eat Betta Food?

As mentioned above, fish food is one of the best things to offer mystery snails. So, you can feed it betta food or any other fish food for that matter. 

Do Mystery Snails Eat Dead Fish And Snails?

Yes, they do! When mystery snails are not fed properly, they tend to turn to cannibalism and eat dead snails. Similarly, they can eat dead fish as well. 

Will Mystery Snails Eat Fish Eggs?

As they are known to be scavengers, mystery snails can feed on fish eggs on occasion. Although the species prefers veggies and algae, they will eat fish eggs if not fed properly.

Final Thoughts

With that, we finally come to the end of our guide on mystery snails. We hope this has been informative. 

It is important to remember that these snails take time to get used to the water, so it is essential to acclimatize them. Once they are used to it, they choose their tank mates carefully. While different types of shrimp can be kept in the tank, a better fish can be paired with a mystery snail. 

On that note, we shall sign off. We’ll be back next time with more guides.

See you soon!

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Jeff Colt

Jeff Colt

Hello, I'm Jeff- an aquarium enthusiast with over 25 years of experience caring for a wide array of tropical fish, including koi, goldfish bettas, cichlids and more! For me: Aquariums are like jello - there's always room for more!

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